Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: Kate Unmasked



That’s right I am posting a review of yet ANOTHER book by the amazing author Cindy M. Hogan. I think I’ll stop doing this the day she stops writing books. So what book did I read?  

Kate Unmasked, book 1 in The Code of Silence series—a thrilling story about a girl whose desire to know who here real parents are lead her into dangerous paths that might be her doom. Like the tagline says, “Some secrets should stay dead and buried.”

What I liked about the book (all of Cindy M Hogan’s books actually) is that it’s clean. She proves that it is possible to have a thrilling suspense novel set in modern times that is free of language and sexual content without damaging the story or the believability. I liked that I could relate well with Kate and even see some of myself in her. This books makes you sit back and think what you would do if you were in Kate’s position. It’s a book filled with suspense, mystery, a dash of romance, and above all—page turning fun. While not all the mysteries were solved in book 1 she gives you enough to satisfy and teases you to read book 2. I can’t wait to read book 2, Kate Concealed, and luckily I don’t have to. It is also available. Don’t you love authors that get their books out quick? 

Synopsis:
The mysteries of her past consume her.

Seventeen-year-old Kate has never stopped searching for the secrets of her past—the secrets that began with her missing birth parents. After years of every lead drying up and every hope turning false, Kate finally lucks onto a promising lead.

Determined to find the truth once and for all, Kate travels to the gritty New Jersey shore. But what she finds is worse than she ever could have imagined. She can’t hide from who she is, and now she must face the awful consequences of finding the very people she should have been hiding from.
Some secrets should stay dead and buried.

A young adult action/adventure novel filled with mystery, suspense, romance, and lots of thrills, sure to thrill both teens and adults.

Links:

Monday, February 1, 2016

T. Man’s Northern Woods blog hop



Today I’m part of a special blog event hosted by T. Man, a 10-year-old author and homeschooler. When T. Man was only 8, he partnered with his older brother, M. Man, on a special homeschool writing project that resulted in their first published book, Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion. This year, T. Man went solo and just finished the second book in the series, Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods. Written in the engaging style of a Choose Your Own Adventure™, each book is available for .99 on Amazon.

But today T. Man has chosen to share his new book with his readers in its entirety in a special interactive virtual event. Seven different bloggers are hosting sections of the story. The fun begins on T. Man’s blog. At the end of each page YOU have to decide how the story will go. Each choice will lead you to a new blog. You have the possibility of landing on any of four endings. Of course, when you finish you can always go back to the beginning and start again. Choose wisely!

Permalink to the start of the story on T. Man’s blog: http://wp.me/p2bspO-7d
Link to Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQLMK6G/
Link to Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AL2AFYM



“Quick, shine the flashlight on the bats!” Tony commanded.
“Okay, then you chuck rocks at them,” said Ed.
“What do you think I’m doing?”
Ed swung his flashlight like a baseball bat and knocked one out of the air. “Do you think we can climb up?”
“It’s worth a try.”
Just then another bat lunged at Ed but Tony threw a rock at it and it fell to the floor.
They scrambled like billy goats up to the top, dodging bats.
“We made it. Let’s run!” yelled Ed.
So they ran and ran until they saw the lights of a football game.
“Let’s find the paramedics and bring them back to the plane,” said Tony.
“Yeah,” said Ed.
The two boys jumped the fence, but before they found the paramedics, they ran into the pilot. He was on crutches. Their mouths dropped open. “How’d you get here?” Ed asked.
“The local airport saw us go down on their radar and sent a rescue squad. They’ve been looking for you all evening.”
“But how are you okay?” asked Tony.
“It wasn’t a heart attack. I just have to lay off my wife’s chili. We better call the cops and tell them that you’re here.”
While they waited for the cops to show up, the pilot reached in his pocket and pulled out two bronze medals. “Thanks for trying to help me. I hereby give you these medals of bravery.”
“Thanks!” they said together.
When the police car pulled into the parking lot, the officer said, “I’m glad you boys are all right. For now. I’ve got a surprise for you.”
Then the back door opened and Tony’s mom stepped out.
The End

Monday, January 11, 2016

NEW RELEASE!



I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I have finally published my first chapter book. So often I get parents asking for books to help bridge the gap between my picture books and middle-grade. Well… here it is! Museum Adventures: The Maya Mystery, is a time-traveling adventure that can be described as The Magic Tree House meets A Night at the Museum.

Synopsis:

Eight-year-old Nick and ten-year-old Katie didn’t sign up to go on an adventure. They didn’t ask to be nearly killed by a jaguar, or hunt for ingredients under a volcano. They most certainly did not ask to be sacrificed by some crazy high priest at the top of a Mayan temple. But that is just what they got when they volunteered to help pack up boxes in the basement of their grandfather’s museum …well sort of.

Grandpa had warned them not to go into the Special Collections room. He had said the room was too dangerous. Nick and Katie probably should have listened. Behind that forbidden door they found a time machine—a time machine cleverly disguised as a stone obelisk. As soon as they touched it, they are whisked back to the time of ancient Maya. Nick and Katie need to solve the mystery of how to get home or they just might be stuck in a time without electronics and indoor plumbing forever!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Middle-grade eBook Sale

I'm excited about this promotion because it's geared to one of my favorite audiences: middle-grade readers! I love middle-grade books. Of course you all know that. Below you will find some awesome deals on some of the best middle-grade books to read. All of them are discounted to either $0.99 or FREE. 

The Multi-Author Middle-Grade Book Promotion starts 
January 4, 2016 and ends January 7, 2016.


From $5.99 to FREE
Kindle Nook  * iTunes

All Jacob wants is to make the basketball team. All the Lorkon want is to control the magical powers Jacob doesn't know he possesses.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle

Twelve-year-old Steven never wondered where the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot came from until he found a stone box with a dangerous secret--one people are willing to kill for!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

More than anything, Benjamin Ravenspell wants a pet, but when he buys a mouse named Amber, he gets more than he bargained for.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

Cassandra's ordinary life is riddled with hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking mishaps as she guides herself through the world of pre-teens on the brink of adulthood.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Part Neanderthal, but raised as a human, Arken Freeth finds that he doesn't fit in either world as he struggles to survive.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

An eleven-year-old girl discovers she has the power to grant any living thing its one true wish.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

When a malnourished horse shows up as a rescue at the farm where she volunteers, Jacinda, a bullied girl, takes it on as a project horse, and the mare's sweet nature inspires her to spread kindness around to make a positive difference in the world.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Jenni Kershaw and her eighth grade science class take a field trip they will never forget. Dragons and goblins and spirits, oh my!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

When Colin suddenly learns he has magic, he discovers that Atlantis is real, and that his new mermaid friend, Alleya, is in trouble.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

Bed bugs, burglars, and a missing mother. For Doodle, it’s just part of a day’s work. A laugh-out-loud mystery for dog lovers of all ages.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

To save her brother, the banshee Seven must save Atlantis.
From $1.99 to $0.99
Kindle

One girl with a nightmare to live through; one ghost with a dream to live. With so much to lose, can anything be gained?

From $3.49 to FREE
Kindle

Enter a world of myth and magic as young English boy Thomas Farrell seeks to discover the identity of his late father, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent...
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle

When eating dog kibble on a dare gives 10-year-old Tawny special powers, her life nearly goes to the dogs!
From $5.49 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Twins Justin and Janine discover a mysterious egg ... can they protect the hatchling while lost in Montana's Absaroka wilderness?

$3.99 to $0.99
Kindle

Daniel doesn't think there's anything worse than spending a week at Camp Bigfoot . . . until he loses his prized possession: a pencil that brings his drawings to life.


From $4.99 to $0.99
Nook * Kobo

Laughing and Learning Little Life Lessons
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle

When a blast from the past shows up and makes her BFF go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her friend and getting some very important questions answered.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Harry Potter and The Hobbit rolled into one captivating and humorous epic fantasy series that will have kids begging for more.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Winner of the Mom's Choice Award honoring excellence in media for children. Classic fantasy adventure - quirky, funny, sinister, and action-packed
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

To save his friends from a dystopian future Earth, Nikolas leads them to a fantastic Moon in the past. But what happens when the fantastic becomes fatal?

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Explore the magical history of Kendra Kandlestar's world in this collection of bonus tales from the Land of Een.
From $4.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * iTunes

DREAMS: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

What's worse than stumbling upon the dead body of the Cat Lady? Being accused of her murder. Sarah Cole and her friends take it upon themselves to catch the Cat Lady Killer.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook

When Turik finds a special egg his Grandfather is kidnapped and he must balance his power for good with the strength of the evil that wishes to consume him.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle

Felicity, an ordinary sparrow learns that she can do extraordinary things!
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

When a group of crazed ninjas take over their school, the Smartboys fight back. And it all happens on a day when Monkey has the worst case of flatulence imaginable.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

George, the magical basset hound, is on the trail of the mysterious ghosty haunting his Packmate, Tillie.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle

The legend of the little red hen, as told by the acorn that smacked her in the head. NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle

Carter's life changes when an old man entrusts him with a book of magical spells, one of which grants the power to raise people from the dead.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle

Ever wonder what it would be like to be pulled into your computer? Sarah is about to find out.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle Nook * Kobo * iTunes

It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, Christopher and his crew get caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies!

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

Semi-autobiographical adventures from a 20th Century Northern California outdoorsman
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes

The future looks bleak unless eighteen-year-old Lance and his young New Camelot Earth Warriors can save the planet from catastrophic climate change.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cover Reaveal: The Scarecrow



Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY 
at the bottom of this post!


Ready for a look at the book?

"Pure evil rises once again in Albia…

Three years have passed since Baron Reen’s trial. A terrible accident on the island of his exile has transformed him into a nightmarish scarecrow creature with dark, mysterious powers. Staging his own suicide, Reen breaks free of his prison and, with the help of the former queen Sofira, embarks on a ruthless quest for vengeance against his worst enemy, the woman responsible for the overthrow of his schemes and his own ruination: Brynne Sullyan.

Sullyan is tasked with investigating Reen’s suicide. The missing body and a series of disasters in Port Loxton—a vicious murder, a brutal ambush, and a devastating fire—raise suspicions in her mind. She probes deeper, determined to uncover the truth, unsuspecting of the evil that’s about to be unleashed…"
And now for the big reveal!!!
*****
***
*


HOW THE COVER WAS CREATED
I really love how this cover turned out. I feel it is one of my best covers. I thought I'd share with you a few of the steps in creating this. First I started with a really rough sketch, just trying to get the feel for the shape of the painting. Then I created a finer sketch that I then presented to Cas for approval. This is what she got:

 
After Cas approved the sketch I moved on with the painting process. We chatted back and forth about the colors I should use. I wanted have Sofira's robe be red but we almost ended up having it be green. One other thing you might notice, in the original drawing I had the torches flaming. Cas thought, which I agreed with, that red embers would create a better lighting effect. You'll also notice I hadn't quiet decided how I was going to pull off the Scarecrow's face at this point. Also Sofira's necklace was too light. So we changed that up to be a little more on the heavy side. I like pointing out the changes because no artist is going to be able to get it right the first time. I try to get all my changes made in the sketch where it's easier to make changes. Next I started painting. While I don't have individual layers to show the next picture shows the colors being laid out under the sketch. 



You can see some of the slight changes that I made during the paining process. Sometimes things look a little different once you start adding color, shadows, and highlights. We didn't make any changes once the paining was done except we did play around with the Scarecrow's eyes a bit, trying to make them more sinister. In the end this is what we came up with:



 

Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website: www.caspeace.com

See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch here:
Find out more at her website: www.caspeace.com


Social Media links:
Website: http://www.caspeace.com/

And now for a wonderful endorsement. 
“Cas Peace's Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King's Envoy, continues unabated in King's Champion, and climaxes in King's Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series  propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real. Smart. Powerful. Compelling. The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you've found another home—in Albia. Start reading now. I, for one, can't wait to find out what will happen next.”
Janet Morris: The Sacred Band of Stepsons; the Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage.


Check out all the great blogs that are a part of this event by following along on the Facebook page.


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